press trust of india
New Delhi, 14 August
Irked over delay in filing of their response, the Supreme Court today directed the Centre and state governments to make their stand clear by 6 September on declaring transgenders
as citizens under a third
gender category and giving them equal protection and rights.
A bench pulled up the governments for not filing their response on a PIL seeking equal rights for transgenders and said that it would pass order on the plea if they failed to do so by September 6.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), seeking its direction to declare transgenders as person under third gender category and sought reservation for them in educational institutions and job opportunities either as a separate category or as a backward class.
The apex court had last year issued notice to Centre and various state governments but they failed to file response.
NALSA, a statutory body mandated to provide free legal services to the weaker sections of the society, submitted that transgenders are deprived of their fundamental rights available to the other two sexes ~ males and females ~ and are not considered as the third sex.
“The transgenders are deprived of social and cultural participation, are shunned by family and society, have only restricted access to education, health services and public spaces and have restricted rights as citizens such as right to marry, right to contest elections, right to vote, employment and livelihood opportunities and various human rights such as voting, obtaining passport, driving licence, ration card, identity card etc.